Siege of Philippines city continues as army struggles to break militant stranglehold

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The city of Marawi in southern Philippines remains under siege for the fourth consecutive week. Military officials have stated that the army is struggling to flush the Islamist militants from downtown precincts despite continuous bombing.

The urban environment of Marawi has proved a challenge for the Philippines military as the militants have fortified themselves in built-up neighbourhoods and have also taken civilians as human shields.

Mindanao, which includes Marawi, continues to remain under martial law after militants linked to ISIS attempted to seal of the city and establish a stronghold in Southeast Asia. The Philippines forces have been fighting militants through ground operations, along with mortar fire and helicopter-mounted guns..

Countries in Southeast Asia continue to remain on high alert against the ISIS threat emerging in the region. The countries in the region have stepped up intelligence sharing in an effort to keep Islamic radicalism in check. On Monday, Singapore arrested the first woman citizen suspected of joining the ISIS.